The State – 03/15/23

Rachel Fulton

Today’s weather forecast is predicting generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds with a high of 44 degrees and a low of 35 degrees.

Suzy Merchant leaves a lasting legacy at MSU

After 16 seasons and a lasting legacy at Michigan State, head women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant announced that she will be stepping down effective immediately due to health reasons. The decision was a mutual one with athletic director Alan Haller.

The Michigan native was hired as head coach on April 30, 2007 after nine years at Eastern Michigan, where she became to winningest head coach in program history.

During her time at MSU, Merchant held an 327-186 all-time record, went to 10 NCAA tournaments and brought home two Big Ten titles for the green and white. Merchant became the fastest MSU coach to hit 100 wins and is the second-winningest head coach for the Spartan women — just 49 wins shy of the 376 from MSU Hall of Famer Karen Langeland.

Perhaps the greatest impact she will leave will be the one she has left on her players. This season, and in years past, Merchant’s players have spoken of the relationships she builds with her teams on and off the court.

Michigan State athletics announced that they will be conducting a nation-wide search to find a fit replacement for Suzy Merchant. In the meantime, associate head coach Dean Lockwood will continue acting as interim head coach.

Merchant finished her statement with one final sentiment to the fans: “It has been an incredible journey…Thank you, Spartan Nation.”

Lifting MSU’s vaccine mandate sparks safety concerns for students, faculty

After Michigan State University lifted its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, members of the Graduate Employees Union, or GEU, and the Union of Non-Tenure Track Faculty, or UNTF, responded, stating the decision was made without the knowledge or consulting of faculty and teaching assistants.

GEU president Ava Hill said the tragic event that unfolded on Feb. 13 in combination with lifting the vaccine mandate did not make campus safer.

Hill said the vaccine mandate should not have been lifted at all, saying other vaccines are mandated and required by the university for students, staff and faculty.

MSU does have a policy requiring undergraduate students to submit an immunization form and strongly recommends other vaccinations, but does not require that students are vaccinated.

PhD student Hazel Anderson said MSU needs to recognize and be inclusive of students, faculty and staff needing extra precaution and change after this decision.

The ghost-with-the-most will come to the Wharton Center for ‘Beetlejuice’ musical

From March 14 to 19, “Beetlejuice: the National Tour” is coming to the Wharton Center.

“Beetlejuice,” tells the story of Lydia Deetz as her family moves from New York City to Connecticut. The Deetz’s house is haunted by Adam and Barbara Maitland, a recently deceased couple. As the Maitlands struggle to cope with their new reality as ghosts, they consult the help of Beetlejuice, an immoral and evil but nevertheless wacky demon.

Isabella Esler, who plays Lydia Dietz, describes her character as a “young, teenage emo girl who is getting adjusted to an entirely new environment.”

Esler said this adaptation of Beetlejuice differs from the original 1988 movie. The plot revolves more around Lydia’s story as she adjusts to her new home, rather than the unexpected, un-dead Maitlands that occupy it.

The national tour, however, remains mostly true to the Broadway adaptation, Esler said.

The show will take place at Cobb Great Hall and tickets can be purchased on The Wharton Center website.

Based on original reporting by Bella Johnson, Julius Patto and Jaden Beard.